Halloween Special – African Beef Stew with sweet potatoes and mangoes, cooked and served in a Pumpkin

Pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay.

Pumpkin patch.  Wikipedia

Halloween is tomorrow, and so here is a special recipe I learned in Kenya that Chef Richard, of the Hotel club du Lac Tanganyika, prepared.  It is tasty and provides a great presentation in a buffet – especially at Halloween time.

A group of international dignitaries came to the hotel for lunch, and so Richard made this African stew together with a baked rice-amaranth  ‘risotto’ with a cheese topping, served with several salads.  Fresh strawberry and apple tarts and fresh fruit were served for desert; it was all very good.

  • 10-12    Pound whole pumpkin (one large, or two small)
  • 1/4    Pound butter
  • 1     Cup sugar
  • 2 T    Olive oil
  • 2    Pounds beef chunks
  • 4    Cups sweet potatoes
  • 4    Cups white potatoes (or sweet)
  • 1    Cup onions, diced
  • ½    Cup green peppers, diced
  • 4    Medium ripe mangoes
  • 1 – 2    Cups carrots, sliced
  • 1 T    Oregano *
  • 1    Bay leaf *
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2    Cups beef stock

* Can be used for European tastes, but in Africa the choice would be for red pepper ( ‘pili-pili ho-ho’)

  • Cut lid and carefully clean out the inside of the pumpkin, without damaging the external rind
  • Brush inside with the softened butter and sugar (mixed), helps reduce bitterness of the pumpkin shell and rind
  • Replace lid and bake at 350 F in a roasting pan for about 45 minutes or less
  • Place olive oil in a large skillet and brown beef
  • Remove meat and in juices cook sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and carrots
  • Remove potatoes and carrots and in juices cook remaining ingredients, including beef stock
  • Cook until onions are translucent
  • After pumpkin is finished cooking combine all cooked ingredients into pumpkin
  • Don’t over bake the pumpkin shell – which did happen in Chef Richard’s first attempt [see picture]; brown and too soft
  • Don’t overcrowd shells when placing cooked ingredients into pumpkin
  • Return to oven for about 45 minutes
  • Serve out of the pumpkins

The dish is not terribly spicy, but it is tasty and the meat becomes quite tender, baked in the pumpkins.  Adding a good helping of pili-pili ho-ho [fiery hot spice or sauce] is the African way in many areas.

Chef Richard and sous-chef Jean-Claude showing off their African stew in local squash ‘pumpkins,’ being served from the bain-marie

Sous-chef Jean-Claude with the Rice-broth-linga-linga (local amaranth) & cheese 'risotto'

Sous-chef Jean-Claude with the Rice-broth-linga-linga (local amaranth)  & cheese ‘risotto’

Part of the buffet

Part of the buffet.  The large ‘nuts’ are freshly picked coconuts from trees on the Hotel shore-front  of  Lake Tanganyika

Serving staff with Richard and Jean-Claude

Serving staff with Richard and Jean-Claude

On the following link, I talk about How to stock and run a commercial kitchen in central Africa. Well, how it is done here at the Hotel.

Revised 30 October 2014
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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Burundi, Cuisine, Holiday, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Halloween Special – African Beef Stew with sweet potatoes and mangoes, cooked and served in a Pumpkin

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  8. Karen says:

    Can’t wait to hear!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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